Sustainable tourism in Italy: Organic products, artisan wines and human farmhouse

Agricola Cirelli. Nature, beauty, true sustainable tourism in Italy.

Agricola Cirelli was born some years ago from one individual’s dramatic life-choice that meant re-evaluating everything. In just a few years, the company has grown, raising its profile in Italy and the world thanks to the stubbornness and ideas of Francesco Cirelli, the company’s heart, head and driving force. Organic produce, a warm ‘agriturismo’ welcome and artisan wines produced in terracotta amphorae are the core activities of an enterprise nestled in the Abruzzo Appenines, just a few kilometers from Atri, where passions and new experiences are cultivated.

Sustainable Tourism in Italy: Cirelli

Agricola Cirelli was born a few years ago, what did you do before? How and why did you change your life? “After graduating in Economics and Business Adiministration, I started my career in the world of Italian wine, working for various companies in foreign markets, right up until 2011, the year I was made redundant. I couldn’t see myself continuing to travel the world, working to rhythms that are just not me and that played havoc with my emotional state. So I decided to create my own small company on land that I bought in 2003. Agricola Cirelli was born from failure but it opened my eyes and helped me to understand the real priorities of my life: family, affection, time, beauty.”

What does Agricola Cirelli mean to you?  “Today Agricola Cirelli is my daytime refuge. It provides a sanctuary for thought and manual labor is my ideas laboratory. The values that underpin Agricola Cirelli are those mentioned before: effort gives meaning and value to the passage of time, beauty as a mirror of my own inner life: I can capture the splendour of the Gran Sasso or the gems of my vineyard only if I first recognise my own inner beauty. ”

Organic artisan wine: What does that mean? What is your interpretation of this product? “An artisan wine is a product derived from the interaction of terroir, grape and the craftsman who participates in the creative act, bringing his knowledge (perhaps inherited) and – most importantly – all his emotional baggage. The wine industry is important from a socio-economic point of view, but it’s the result of rigid process and technology in which human contribution is limited and is therefore devoid of emotion. As much as possible, I want to make sure that my wine realises the ideal of a product that is the fusion of knowledge and market analysis.”

Where did you get your passion for nature, a concept evident throughout your operation? “Nature is freedom, but also a force…sometimes out of control, it’s peace, it’s life here and now, it’s the passing of the seasons, it’s feeling the finite nature of things. Whether sea, mountain or hill it doesn’t matter. In the beauty of nature I feel finite, my strengths and weaknesses normal despite this beautiful fragility. I have an anxious nature and beauty reassures my simple multicellular being. I think that nature and its beauty are not my passion but my escape valve. I’m lucky to have a job where I am surrounded by beauty everyday. I consider it a privilege.”

Azienda Agricola Cirelli  – Contrada via Colle San Giovanni 1 64032 – ATRI (Teramo) –  +39 085 8700106 – www.agricolacirelli.com

Valeria Canavesi – Author for STW

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